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September contents...




Health: Are you getting your 5 a day?         Health: Alleviate the burning pain of cystitis




Health: The Great Skin Guide                            Beauty: Plucked to perfection!


Are you getting your 5 a day?


It has been shown that there are significant health benefits of having at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day, which is why it is important you eat enough of them.

Not only are fruit and vegetables a good source of vitamins and minerals, they are also an excellent source of dietary fibre, helping you maintain a healthy gut. Fruit and vegetables are usually low in fat and calories (provided you don’t fry them or roast them in lots of oil) which is why eating them can help you maintain a healthy weight and keep your heart healthy.

Fruit and vegetables taste delicious and there’s so much variety to choose from, so what counts as a portion?*

  • 80g of fresh, canned or frozen fruit and vegetables counts as 1 portion of your 5 a day. When choosing tinned fruit and vegetables find ones in natural juice or water, with no added sugar or salt.
  • 30g of dried fruit (equivalent to 80g of fresh fruit) counts as 1 portion of your 5 a day. Dried fruit should be eaten at mealtimes, not as a between-meal snack, to reduce the risk of tooth decay.

Some portions only count once in a day:

  • 150ml of fruit juice, vegetable juice or smoothie. Limit the amount you drink to a combined total of 150ml a day. Crushing fruit and vegetables into juice and smoothies releases the sugars they contain, which can damage teeth. Juices and smoothies should be consumed at mealtimes, not as a between-meal snack, to reduce the risk of tooth decay.
  • 80g of beans and pulses. These only count once as part of your 5 a day, no matter how many you eat. This is because although they’re a good source of fibre, they contain fewer nutrients than other fruits and vegetables.

To get the maximum benefits, you need to eat different types of fruit and vegetables. This is because different fruit and vegetables contain different combinations of fibre, minerals and other nutrients. Aim to include a wide variety of fruit and vegetables in your 5 a day to get the most nutritional benefit.

A common question asked about your 5 a day is if potatoes count towards it. The answer to this is no. Potatoes are a starchy food and a great source of energy, fibre, B vitamins and potassium however when eaten as part of a meal, potatoes are generally used in place of other sources of starch, such as bread, pasta or rice. Because of this, they don’t count towards your 5 a day. Other vegetables that don’t count towards your 5 a day are yams, cassava and plantain as these too are usually eaten as
starchy foods. Sweet potatoes, parsnips, swedes and turnips do count towards your 5 a day because they’re usually eaten in addition to the starchy food part of the meal.




Alleviate the burning pain of cystitis


Cystitis is an inflammation of the urinary tract which, in most cases is caused by a bacterial infection, however cystitis can also be caused
by damage or irritation to the urethra and bladder. It’s a common type of urinary tract infection, found predominantly in women, and
is usually more of an annoyance than a cause for serious concern. You will normally suffer with a burning sensation when passing urine
and will want to pass water more often than normal. Mild cases will often get better by themselves within a few days.


The main symptoms of cystitis include*:

  • Pain, burning or stinging when you pass urine.
  • Needing to pass urine more often and urgently than normal.
  • Urine that’s dark, cloudy or strong smelling.
  • Pain low down in your tummy.
  • Feeling generally unwell, achy, sick and tired.

It is not always clear how the bacteria gets into the bladder to cause cystitis however things like having sex, wiping your bottom from back to front after you have been to the toilet or inserting a tampon or urinary catheter can move the bacteria. Women may get cystitis more often than men because their back passage is closer to their urethra, and their urethra is much shorter, which means bacteria may
be able to get into the bladder more easily.

We advise:

  • Ask our pharmacist to choose the product which is most suitable for you.
  • Drink more water to help flush the stinging urine through your body.
  • Avoid alcohol, tea and coffee which can irritate the bladder.
  • Drinking cranberry juice has traditionally been recommended as a way of reducing your chances of getting cystitis.
  • Always wipe from front to back when you go to the toilet.
  • Wear cotton briefs and loose clothing.
  • Excessive washing of the area can worsen the symptoms, washing morning and night is advised.
  • All men and children should seek medical advice from their doctor.
  • Do not use bath additives in your bath water.

If there is no improvement after 48 hours, ask our pharmacist for advice.




The Great Skin Guide


Our skin can tell a lot about us and our lifestyles, so it’s important for us to pay attention to our skin and what it’s saying. For example, very dry or flaky skin can be a warning sign to you that you aren’t drinking enough water, and are dehydrated. Or if you’re not getting the right amount of sleep each night, your eyelids may become especially puffy.

Are you noticing a skin rash that seems to appear most often after meals? It could very well be your body’s way of telling you that you have a gluten intolerance, if your skin is breaking out badly, it might very well have to do with the amount of stress you’re under.

Give your skin care routine a boost with our blemish-busting and pimple-preventing guide to flawless skin.

Never, ever go to bed with makeup on. No matter how exhausted you are or how late it is: Take it off. Removing your makeup can make the difference between beautiful, glowing skin or a complexion that looks dull and has clogged pores and breakouts.

Be nice to your skin when removing your makeup. The skin around your eyes is the thinnest, most delicate skin on your face so if you tug too roughly when removing your eye makeup, your skin can stretch out over time and fine lines can become more noticeable. Clean your makeup brushes! Dirty brushes and sponges harbour dirt and bacteria which can cause breakouts.

Drink plenty of water morning to night. And not just when you’re hitting the gym or you’re super thirsty (if you get to that point, you’re most likely already dehydrated). Hydration is key to keeping your skin radiant. Eight glasses is the recommended daily minimum amount.


Use a face cream and sunscreen combo every day. Even the five minutes you spend in the sun running into work each day add up, incidental exposure every day over a few years cause brown spots and fine lines to show up earlier.

Don’t pick at your skin. Leave that spot/blackhead/bump alone. As tempting as it can be, it’s more likely that you’ll drive bacteria further into the skin, making it more inflamed or add more dirt and bacteria to the area from your fingers and nails.

Exercise is important. Getting to yoga or spin class can have a positive effect on your skin as well as your mood and body, because a workout increases circulation, creating that great glow once it’s done. Working up a sweat can help lower the stress hormone cortisol, which is linked not only to skin aging but breakouts and clogged pores.

Don’t binge on junk food. If most of your calories are coming from the snack machine, your skin is going to pay the price. 

Clean your phone daily. Don’t press it directly against your skin when talking either. Your phone is a breeding ground for germs.

Get a good night sleep. Put your devices down at least an hour before you tuck in. Ideally, get eight hours of sleep uninterrupted, it’s when you're hitting that deep sleep that your mind, body, and skin have time to repair.  Flip your pillow over once a week and wash it every two to avoid a build-up of these pore-clogging substances.


Plucked to perfection!


Your eyebrows are the frame for your face. Look after your arches and they can take years off you, but get it wrong and they can change the whole shape of your face for the worse!

It can be a very tiresome and a somewhat painful task to achieve those flawless groomed results, but now that the fuller, thicker brow is leading the fashion trends, you can thankfully spend a lot less time tweezing and plucking!


Find your shape…
Your brows will have a natural start, peak and end. Finding these points is the key to creating perfect brows. Follow this simple technique to get yours just right.

A. Looking straight ahead in the mirror and using your eyebrow pencil, line it up from the corner of your eye to the edge of your nose. Your brow should begin where it meets the pencil.
B. Line up the pencil at an angle with the outer edge of your nostril and the inner edge of your iris. The peak should occur where the pencil meets the brow. Try not to arch your brows too high or they’ll look unnatural.
C. Line up the pencil from the edge of your nostril to the outer corner of your eye. Your brow should end where it meets the pencil.



The thickness of your brow is a personal choice but you should use the following factors to help determine this:

Eyes - Bigger eyes can be balanced out with thicker brows. The same theory works for thinner brows for smaller eyes. Small eyes
can be over shadowed by bushy brows.

Lips – Your eyebrow thickness should be around the same thickness as your upper lip, this will also help to balance your face. You may want to use your eyebrow pencil to mark out these points on your face and join them up so that you have a guide to work to.

Pluck out the strays…

  1. Starting from the inner brow, closest to your nose, use a brow brush and brush the hairs upwards until the peak, then brush the hairs outwards, following their natural direction. This will make it easier to see which hairs need to be plucked out.
  2. Tweeze out the hairs that fall outside your marked brow area. A sharp slanted style of tweezers will grab the small hairs, without pinching the skin along the way. You should grasp each hair firmly and pluck only one at a time in the direction they grow.
  3. Look at where your natural arch peaks and carefully tweeze above and around it to make the peak slightly more prominent.
  4. Once both brows are completed, have a look to check they are even but avoid the temptation to over pluck trying to match them up.

Fill in the blanks…
With an eyebrow pencil, make light strokes in the direction that your hair grows to help fill in any sparse spots.

The eyebrow pencil shade you choose can make a big difference… colouring is everything! Here is our guide:
Hair Colour           Pencil Colour
Brunette                 One or two shades lighter brown than your hair
Light Blonde          Golden tones
Dark Blonde          Taupe shades
Red Heads            Warm brown tones

Final styling…
Using a brow comb, gently coax them into the final shape so that no hairs are poking up in the wrong direction. Applying a brow gel will help your brows stay in place all day.


Shaping tips…

  • Do your plucking after your shower or bath. Warm water will open follicles and soften hairs, helping them slip out more easily.
  • Your eyebrows are sisters, not twins! Don’t waste your time trying to make them identical.
  • You don’t need a special magnifying mirror, a normal mirror in a well lit room will work just fine. A magnifying mirror can appear to show that there’s more hair to remove than there actually is, which will only lead to over plucking.
  • Work with your natural shape. If your brows are naturally thin, don’t thicken them too much, they will only look fake. Same goes for
  • thicker brows - don’t over pluck them, you’ll distort the shape.
  • As you age, gradually move your natural arch outwards as this can appear to lift your face.
  • Over plucked? Try not to tweeze for three or four weeks so you can see how the natural pattern and shape grows. In the meantime, carry on brushing your eyebrows to keep them as neat as possible.
  • Eyebrow hair can take up to eight weeks to grow back, and sometimes it doesn’t come back at all. So be careful with the hair you have.

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